Mating Game

Rating: NNNNN'Tis the month to be a hermit, but why not get a friend, ditch the video games and get.

Rating: NNNNN

‘Tis the month to be a hermit, but why not get a friend, ditch the video games and get some geek chic with a good old-fashioned game of chess.

A classy Elizabethan set in reconstituted marble features the legendary icy Virgin Queen with, well, her secretary and treasurer, Lord Burghley, as her king. Because, you know — if you can’t have sex you may as well have an eager administrative assistant (1, $355, Royal Ontario Museum gift shop, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-5784).

A Muppets set with Her Royal Pigness and King Kermit is cool and has garnered pseudo-collector status since Jim Henson’s death. (2, $59.99, Mind Games, Eaton Centre, 416-977-8994).

If you want to go more trad but think plain wood is a bit too 15th-century, try a multi-hued glass set (3, $79.95, the Chess Shop, 1685 Bayview, 416-486-3395).

For short men with a complex, a Napoleonic set complete with his once-adored Josephine at his side will put the whole family in a conquering mood (4, $89.99, Mind Games).

A decorative brass-and-pewter Greco-Roman set will look perfect in your faux-leather study while you entertain filthy thoughts of the “Greek” sort (5, $269.99, Mind Games).

And even though their lame attempt at basing an episode in Toronto, like, sucked, every pop-cult cat still wants to get a classic Simpsons set (6, $79.95, the Chess Shop).

For serious collectors, the stumpy Isle of Lewis reproduction set is the most desirable. It’s cast from pieces found in 1831 and kept in various museums the originals are believed to date from 1150-1170 CE and are the most complete set of ancient chessmen in existence today (7, $239.95, the Chess Shop).

To make it so, pick up a Star Trek New Generation set, complete with Captain Picard and his lady friend, Dr. Beverly Crusher (8, $39.95, the Chess Shop).

Or get an elaborately carved ancient Chinese set (9, $259.95, ROM). No word on which particular ancient Chinese characters they are — even the folks at the museum couldn’t tell — just, you know, ancient ones.Checkmate chic — it’s not all black and white any more!

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